With the mandatory exceptions of my wedding day and the birth of children and grandchildren the first flight of 329BW ranks very near the top of my best days list. Standing on the Bend airport Tarmac next to a young man who had become my very good friend, watching the product of our creative thoughts and labor climb into the clear Oregon sky, was a wonderful experience.
The impetus for my relationship with Brian Harris came shortly after returning to Minneapolis from Redmond in a Ryder truck with a brand new Super ES kit. Although I always enjoy a challenge the first clue that I might be in over my head came as I unpacked and inventoried the kit and was unable to identify many of the parts.
In the days before fast build kits and build shop programs Lancair was able to solve my buyer’s remorse issues by recommending that I contact a young builder named Brian Harris. Our version of the build program was for Brian to fly to Minneapolis, live in our home and work on the plane with me in the garage. These sessions were usually two or three weeks of 12 to 14 hour days, this program left no room for doubt as to Brian’s work ethic. Brian’s approach to the project was far more than long hours, he was exceptionally well organized and so experienced that the extensive manuals were rarely referenced. As far as quality Brian was equally concerned with the parts that would rarely or never be seen as with the gaps and finishes that most rely on to judge build quality. When deciding what level of quality we were hoping to achieve the answer was always “perfect will be adequate”. Although I didn’t place any budgetary restrictions on the project, Brian always spent my money as if it was his own. The result was a nearly flawless plane at a very fair price.
My association with Brian not only yielded a wonderful plane but great friend.Bob Wooters
In the fall of 2002 I decided to build a Lancair PropJet after my delivery option on an Eclipse was delayed for two more years. I knew I would need assistance with this project so I contacted Lancair and they recommended Brian Harris.
I contacted Brian to discuss my project and felt very comfortable with his overall knowledge of Lancair, composite fabrication and the 4P PropJet. Together we worked out an agreement and a schedule which satisfied my requirements.
Brian and I started the project by attending Lancair’s two week fast build clinic in December 2002 and upon completion of the clinic we moved the project to his facility. Brian was easy to work with; his knowledge, professionalism and willingness to help accomplish the required tasks to keep the project on schedule were of immense value.
On March 8, 2004 Dave Morss FAA DAR inspected the airplane and issued the special airworthiness certificate on the first inspection and we started the prescribed flight test hours. On April 3th the flight test hours were completed and the airplane was controllable throughout all maneuvers and had no hazardous operating characteristics or design features. Needless to say I’m pleased with my decision to build my PropJet and all of Brian’s assistance.
Today my PropJet is performing perfectly. I have over 450 hours total time. From time to time I have had some squawks but Brian has always helped me research and resolve these issues. The bottom line is over the years Brian has always been available as a technical adviser and a friend.Robert Linn
Having made the decision to build a Lancair ESP, I wrestled with how to go about accomplishing it. I am an experienced aircraft mechanic, an A & P, but had no composite or aircraft building experience. Being 70 yrs old, time was also a consideration, I’m running out of it. After some searching I was referred to Brian Harris’s Composite Approach build shop. Brian immediately got my confidence and respect.
Building the Lancair was a good decision, doing so at Composite Approach was a great decision. Throughout the process the depth and detail of Brian and his crew’s expertise and ability to guide and train continually amazed me. To this day I am so grateful to them. The experience was a continuous pleasure, working at my own speed and involvement. I am extremely proud of the results of the project, an aircraft that is both beautiful and perfect in performance, admired by those who know. Brian and the guys at the shop are still good friends and help me out immediately whenever I have the need. I can’t extol their virtues highly enough and am available to discuss my experience at length with anyone considering them.Dan Harrison
I was the first production Evolution flying and without the help of Brian and the rest of the crew at Composite Approach I wouldn’t have an airplane. Since there was no manual when I was building the kit all the knowledge on how to build the plane came from Brian and his people’s experience building the first prototype. The result was that I ended up with an exceptional aircraft at the end.
Brian and his crew are professionals to the core combining a vast knowledge of the product with a laser focus on quality. The result is that during the build process things get done once and they get done right. I would unambiguously recommend Brian’s shop to anyone building an Evolution or other Lancair product. If I had to start over again on my project knowing what I do now there is much I would have done differently. However, one thing I would certainly do again is use Brian and his crew to assist me in the project.
Brian’s assistance didn’t stop when the plane left his shop. I have been back to Lancair a number of times working to the the airplane “fully finished”. On all these occasions Brian and his crew have shown me the level of dedication they did during the initial build process.
If you have any questions concerning my experiences with Brian’s shop please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 772-918-4225.
Brian and his crew are professionals to the core combining a vast knowledge of the product with a laser focus on quality. The result is that during the build process things get done once and they get done right. I would unambiguously recommend Brian’s shop to anyone building an Evolution or other Lancair product. If I had to start over again on my project knowing what I do now there is much I would have done differently. However, one thing I would certainly do again is use Brian and his crew to assist me in the project.Andy Cruce
Brian and his crew did extensive advanced preparation on my EvolutionTurbine kit which facilitated an outstanding 2 week Owner Fast Build experience. Everyone at Composite Approach are extremely competent in what they do and are remarkably patient teachers in helping the not competent and not experienced owners such as myself to achieve more than they imagined possible. The subsequent workshops were more of the same. It is a very relaxed and trusting atmosphere which facilitates great productivity with a very enjoyable group. It felt like an around the clock operation. No matter what hour you arrived or left, there was always someone there to work with you. I can’t imagine anyone producing a better result or taking greater care to achieve the best possible outcome. These guys have become my friends and I always stop in to visit anytime I am in the area.
Owner Lancair International Eastern U.S. SalesDoug Walker
My wife and I bought an Evolution kit in 2008 from Lancair. While I wanted to build it at home in our garage as I had done with our IVP –she convinced me to build it in Redmond near the factory. We were introduced to Brian Harris during a factory tour in September 2008 and had several conversations with him about staying at his shop after the two week builders class. Brian agreed and in May 2009 we began our Evolution project at Composite Approach. Brian and his team are true professionals. We cannot say enough good things about him. He is a man of his word— sometimes rare in today’s world.
Brian and his crew: Matt, Joel, Mike, Chris, Steve and the rest are experts in composite aircraft construction. Even thought I built an award winning IVP I knew that the Evolution required some assistance if I wanted to be flying soon. We started our project in May 2009 and flew in December 2009. Brian expertly handled the challenges that came our way…never once complaining. Even after we left his shop he has continued to support us with some of the changes and additions to the airplane.
I cannot recommend him enough. In addition to being a true pro in this business he has also become a great friend. If you decide to build an Evolution you would be fortunate to build it at Composite Approach.
And, yes, the airplane is a dream to fly.Jeff Edwards
As far as I am concerned, absolute requirements for building my Evolution are parts, sandpaper, super glue, and Brian Harris. Without him and the rest of the crew at Composite Approach, it would be like sanding micro with your fingernails.Scott Stanwyck
If you are planning to build your Evolution in the Redmond/Bend area, my advice would be to consider Brian Harris and his Composite Approach Group. Lancair Evolution – Owen Gahagan 1Brian and his “B Team” led me step by step during my 2 week Evolution build shop last May. I was taught many new skills while having a great time doing the serious work of building my Evolution in a friendly and enjoyable environment. Brian works very closely with Lancair and has been involved in the R&D of the Evolution Project since its inception. Brian’s “B Team” is a settled group of experienced composite builders who have a way of making you feel comfortable and appreciated while guiding you through each step of the build process. In my opinion, Composite Approach is the premier Evolution build shop in the Redmond/Bend area and warrants your serious consideration. Enjoy the journey!Owen Gahagen
Brian Harris has great intellectual capacity and commitment in his chosen field as a professional builder of composite experimental airplanes. He always displays poise and maturity in dealing with customers and his able staff. His attitude is positive and he tends to be optimistic. He has fantastic rapport with his staff, other professional builders and contractors, and his current and past customers. He often shows his well developed sense of humor and does not take himself too seriously. Although there are other excellent professional builders in the area, if I was to again begin the project of building a Lancair Evolution Brian and his team would be my choice.Joe Anderson